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Texas-San Antonio

Out of Town Guests

Hi, I'm just wondering what is considered "good etiquette" in regards to out of town guests. Most of my family and friends as well as my fiancee's family and friends live outside of Texas (Arizona, California, Utah, and Florida). My parents are the only people that live here in SATX. My stepmom told my FH that if we invite people from out of town we have to pay all their expenses. So he freaked, of course! I told him that most of the time, the guest pays their own expenses and the wedding party organizes a block of discounted hotel rooms for them to use. (I'm very familiar with that as I work at a hotel :) ) What do y'all think?

Re: Out of Town Guests

  • edited December 2011
    Ha!  Wow, I'm with you on complete freak out.  I've never heard of that, but I'm from a huge family spread across the country so no one would ever be able to do that.  I have heard of friends who have paid for some immediate family members (ie, mother of groom, etc) who literally couldn't afford to come otherwise. 

    Most of our guests, and ourselves, will be OOT as well.  We're considering a Friday night meet and greet at a bar/restaurant and may pay for first round and some appetizers to start off.      

    Out of respect, I'd just inquisitively ask her about the custom she's referring to, to at least appear to be listening and hearing her out.  And then, not defensively, explain that it's not expected in your family and not customary.  I wouldn't even go into the not affordable part (people are most sensitive about $$$), unless it still isn't dropped.

    Good luck!  
  • edited December 2011
    Our ENTIRE family is coming from out of town. Most are coming from Ohio, and the rest are coming from various spots in Texas. We are not paying for any of thier expenses, and we are getting almost 90 percent turn around on people who are coming. They all just want to make a vacation out of it. :)

    My personal recommendations is that you send out save the dates well in advance, so people know that the out of town wedding is going to be coming. That way you can put it in their heads that they will need to start saving if they have to travel far. Make sure you include the city location on the STD's even if you haven't chosen a venue, so they can start assuming the costs that go with it.

    Then send your invites to the OOT people at least 3 months in advance of the wedding, to give them enough time to buy a cheaper flight.

    I personally reserved a block of 25 rooms at a hotel near by, and put the discounted rate on my wedding website. They have till a month before the wedding to reserve and then they are on their own. We will also probably make OOT goody bags to put in their rooms, so it is an extra little thank you for coming.

    If your family wants to be there, and they can afford to come, they will make the trip. I promise. More people surprised me than not, with RSVPing to travel over 1000 miles just to make it out on our day.
  • TTiger03TTiger03 member
    Seventh Anniversary 500 Comments
    edited December 2011
    If your stepmom wants to foot that bill she is more than welcome to but it is in no way required or considered proper etiquette for you to have to pay for their expenses.  The woman is BSC (about this) if you ask me.

    Most wedding guests are aware that they will be paying for the expenses of their travel and lodging.  I would never expect to be getting a free trip from anyone.  You MIGHT have a smaller accept rate if there are many who can't make the trip, but you run that risk.

    You work in a hotel and know how common a room block is.  You know that guests pay their own way (with a few exceptions).  Just tell her in your professional experience how it works.

    Your only obligation is to try to give your guests a pleasant evening.  Offering them food and drink (even if it includes a cash bar depending on your crowd) and a place to sit to enjoy the festivities. Even a room block is a courtesy and is not required.  However, with that percent of guests I would be sure to make one or two (different price points if possible).
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